Water Oak / Quercus nigra
Red Oak Subgenus: Erythrobalanus
Family: Beech / Fagaceae
Characteristics: Water Oak is a fast-growing tree with a rounded crown. Leaves are alternate, obovate, often with a 3-lobed apex. They are variable in size and shape, especially when young. Foliage persists late into fall and winter, especially during mild winters, making the tree semi-evergreen. It is considered by many to be a short-lived "weed tree" on upland sites and is a vigorous early succession tree in Zones 7 to 9.
Landscape Uses: Water Oak transplants easily and is tolerant of a wide variety of soils and site conditions. It does well in full sun. The wood is weaker than that of most oak trees and is subject to limb breakage during ice storms. It also tends to retain numerous dead branches within its canopy.
Size: 50 to 80 feet high as about half as wide
Zones: 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b
Habitat: Along streams throughout the Southeast from the Coastal Plain to the foothills of mountains.
Native To: Southern New Jersey to Florida, west to eastern Texas, and northward from the Mississippi valley to southeastern Missouri.